Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

October 15, 2010

ANGLE: LEAVE THE INSURANCE COMPANIES ALONE.... Last night's debate between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) and Sharron Angle (R) may have been dull, but it wasn't without substantive revelations.

Greg Sargent noted that the moderator asked Angle if there are literally any medical treatments or exams that health insurance companies should be required to cover. She eventually replied, "What we have here is a choice between the free markets and Americanism. America is about choices. The free market will weed out those companies that do not offer as many choices and do not have a cost-effective system."

Of course, for decades we've had insurers that offered fewer choices and cost-ineffective systems, but relying on the free market wasn't enough to help families who needed more.

The Reid campaign quickly put together this new ad, explaining what Angle's approach means in the real world: "At the debate, Sharron Angle couldn't think of a single thing insurance companies should be made to cover. Not one thing. Not colon cancer tests. Not mammograms. Not autism. Nothing."

The ad characterizes this as both "extreme" and "dangerous."

Greg added, "Many have noted already that the Angle-Reid race has posed voters with one of the starkest ideological choices you could possibly ask for in a political contest. Her answer on mandates makes this even clearer."

Agreed. It's not dishonesty or corruption or scandal; it's about competing values. Angle believes what really matters is the government leaving insurance companies alone, no matter what the effects are on the public; Reid believes what really matters is protecting Americans from insurers' excesses and guaranteeing a standard of care.

It's a microcosm of a larger philosophical dispute -- should the government look out for consumers and offer families a safety net, or should people fall prey to the whims of businesses that are compelled to put shareholders' interests above the public's?

Steve Benen 3:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

This is really all about understanding economics, and while I doubt Angle could wrap her mind around a supply and demand diagram, those who push the free markets ideologies don't seem to have advanced much beyond what is taught in a basic Principles of Econ course. Which means they don't really know what they are talking about. But they think it sounds tough and informed, so they bluster away with it.

Posted by: Stephen Spear on October 15, 2010 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Angle, like many of her brethren in the Tea Pot, seems to be a Social Darwinist! What a tormented mind she must have! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 15, 2010 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Seems like Republicans feel like they can say anything and still win.

Meanwhile, the national media sits blithely by and does nothing just reports the races as if all philosophical viewpoints were created equal.

To them there is no truth no danger to America (running for government office to destroy the government is disgusting) the excitement of the race.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on October 15, 2010 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

I wish someone would ask Ms. Angle if she would also approve legislation that allowed emergency rooms and urgent care facilities to turn away patients regardless of condition if they did not have insurance or other ability to pay for the service.

Where's your free market now?

Posted by: James at home on October 15, 2010 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Home grown tea pot terrorism

Yes Kevo...
A Social Darwinist on Christianist steroids.
Al Qaeda pricks are still worse but the gap is narrowing...
And that's because ultimately, all fundamentalism is asymptotic with terrorism....

Posted by: koreyel on October 15, 2010 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Of course there's an upside to Kevo's Social Darwinism (there's always an upside to "science"): More dead Americans=more job opportunities. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

KurtRex1453 wrote: "Seems like Republicans feel like they can say anything and still win."

Yeah, and why would they think that?

KurtRex1453 wrote: "Meanwhile, the national media sits blithely by and does nothing just reports the races as if all philosophical viewpoints were created equal."

Oh, yeah, that's why they think that. Because it's true.

Someday, liberals will realize that "the Republicans" and "the national media" are both wholly-owned subsidiaries of America's Ultra-Rich Ruling Class, Inc.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 15, 2010 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

That's the core flaw in the glibertarian quackery: the free market just doesn't weed out the crap! One thing is, it's all relative so you can have a generally crappy menu and just a matter of lesser of n evils instead of which of the good is best.

Posted by: neil b on October 15, 2010 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that a dumb-as-a-post extremist like Angle is taken seriously says volumes about the sorry state of political discourse in America. For chrissake, this is a candidate for the United States Senate, the upper legislative house of the most powerful nation on earth.

Posted by: Rasputin22 on October 15, 2010 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

NBC, the supposedly "Demo-sympatic" network (well, MSNBC ...) had a story about this debate. They mentioned her attacks on HCR etc. but never highlighted the defense of market anarchy on behalf of the insurance companies (and you wonder who votes knowingly for a person like that.) Worst of all, they snipped of a pollster etc (insinuated was independent) who said Dems were in trouble because ~"the Democratic agenda is so manifestly unpopular," and voters want to take it out on big shots like Pelosi and Reid. BTW take some heart from evidence that the cell-phone effect adds (to apparent) a couple points for Dems and could be just the margin to prevent House loss as well.

Posted by: neil b on October 15, 2010 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Too bad Harry didn't slap her back with that response *during the debate*. If he had, it might have actually been reported and discussed, because it would have infused the debate with a bit of drama/excitement. By now, the framework has been set -- Angle has done if not well, then better than expected -- and the ad looks a bit "after the mustard", delivered in the "spirit of the staircase". As if, perhaps, it's not *Harry's* response but some smart kid's in his campaign.

Posted by: exlibra on October 15, 2010 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Steve wrote about the blatant problem regarding the soft bigotry of low expectations, but I really don't understand how it is that the Majority Leader of the US Senate doesn't absolutely destroy a woman with absolutely no grasp on reality or the basic facts required to represent an entire State.

She was either lying or totally confused and he was struggling to respond! One of the more pathetic things I've ever witnessed...

Posted by: Kiweagle on October 15, 2010 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

So, if the "Speaker" of the House of Representatives cannot overwhelm a neo-phyte like Angle in a one-on-one debate with one of the more important seats at risk (not that NV is a key state, but the Speaker position is at risk), then what are we to think of the state of the Democratic Party? They have this soft-on-Congressional crime Rep. as their "Speaker," and he is that weak? Rather see Alan Grayson, freshman or not, than this weak-kneed simpleton and corporate-owned whore.

And, speaking of whores, what was all the hullaballoo about some aid to Jerry Brown calling Meg Whitman a whore, in private? I'm certain that this kind of language is used more frequently among the Republicans, without consequence...Famously, the Vice President, in the Congressional chamber, telling a fellow senator to "Go F**K yourself."
Mind Boggling!

Posted by: st john on October 15, 2010 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

Excuuuuuse me! Harry Reid is only the Senate Majority Leader, not the Speaker of the House, who is Nancy Pelosi. So, not that big a deal. /snark/

Posted by: st john on October 15, 2010 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Free market fetishism at work again. We tried the free market in health care; that's why we have the dysfunctional system we have today. We don't "consume" health care the way we do other goods, but free market fundamentalists continue to adhere to their ideology despite all the evidence to the contrary. All of our peer nations cover everyone, get comparable or better health outcomes, and do it at a third to half of what we spend. But since it involves "government," their systems still must be worse than ours, and everyone knows we have the best health care system in the world!

Similarly, how many times to we have to try trickle-down economics before people realize it doesn't work? Being an ideologue means never having to look at evidence, I suppose....

Posted by: dsimon on October 15, 2010 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'm scratching my head a bit at this quote from Greg Sargent: "Many have noted already that the Angle-Reid race has posed voters with one of the starkest ideological choices you could possibly ask for in a political contest."

Really? Angle's ideology has been laid bare for everyone to see and understand that she's stark raving bonkers. But Reid's only ideology is that he has no ideology at all. Blowing in the wind isn't an ideology.

Posted by: Helen on October 16, 2010 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly